Phishing attacks are common tactics that scammers use to obtain valuable information from individuals and businesses, often via email. You may have seen one already without knowing it. Scammers will send an email, often pretending to be another person or company, in which they ask for personally identifiable information, install computer viruses, or otherwise gain access to your private data. Interacting with phishing emails can be dangerous, but a heap of common sense and some support from your managed services provider can help you minimize your risk.
Identifying Phishing Emails
While some scammers are excellent at emulating official correspondence, there are plenty of small details that can give a phishing email away. If the email is from someone you know, but the email address itself is unfamiliar or doesn’t match what you have on file, you may have reason to be wary. Likewise, if the email is addressed to “undisclosed participants” or several seemingly unrelated email addresses, you might be on the receiving end of a phishing email. The subject, message contents, tone, and wording should all be relevant to your relationship with the person. If you notice typos, unusual language, or requests for important information, you should consider the possibility that the email is fraudulent. Another red flag is a missing or incorrect email signature, company logo, or header.
Common Sense and a Managed Services Provider are Excellent Tools for Prevention
Fortunately, avoiding phishing scams can be as simple as deleting a suspicious message or following up with the alleged sender via phone or a reliable email address. But what happens when phishing scams are too convincing? If a scam email has you convinced hook, line, and sinker, a robust antivirus program, up-to-date devices, and a dependable managed services provider can help. If you suspect that you may have clicked on a phishing link, contact your technical support team for assistance.
How Prone to Phishing are You?
Recently, the team at Howard Tech distributed a phishing email to our staff members and contacts to see who might fall for a basic phishing scam. This simulated phishing experiment, using applications from our partner vendor KnowBe4, was designed to emulate a scammer pretending to be affiliated with Amazon Prime. After four days, only 6.5% of recipients opened or clicked on the email that was supposedly from Amazon Prime. This is much lower than the 37.5% average — clearly the Howard Tech team is teaching our clients and friends well!
Howard Tech Advisors: Your Local Managed Services Provider
The team at Howard Tech Advisors is committed to providing managed services and customized IT solutions to our clients in Howard County, Baltimore, Columbia, and Ellicott City. We specialize in managed IT services for small and midsize businesses, particularly those near our office in Elkridge, Maryland. To learn more about our business and our work in the community, contact us at (410) 997-2500 or visit our website. Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to stay up-to-date on our service offerings and tech tips.